It’s a quite common for us to make the time and effort to get to the gym only to get there and “go through the motions”. This more often than not means we take the easy way out and use the pin loaded machines, not that I’m saying this is a bad thing, at least you’re doing something, right?? But is it optimal?? Could you be doing something more beneficial with your limited time in the gym. Exercise selection can be vital to maximising your time in the gym.
So, what’s my top five exercises you should be doing.
- Barbell Squat: You want overall growth, strength and power, squatting is a great way to achieve this all. Now, squatting is a technical movement but through the right progression techniques and coaching the vast majority of people will be able to perform the barbell squat with great form. Once you get the basics down, you can make things much harder through different training techniques and variations. Next leg session try just doing barbell squats for the session.
- Barbell Bench Press: This is one of the most functional exercises that can be added to your routine. Functional in a way that the strength and mobility you gain from performing this exercise will assist with many physical tasks performed in day to day life, in particular any kind of pressing movement. Just like the barbell squat, the barbell bench press is a technical compound movement that the vast majority can master with the right coaching.
- Deadlift Variations: Conventional, Sumo, Romanian, Hex Bar etc.. There’s a heap of different deadlift variations and each one has a specific purpose and advantage. The key to mastering these is baby steps, take it slow, deadlifts can be your best friend or your worst enemy if not performed properly. This is also an exercise regardless of the variation that makes day to day physical tasks easier by increasing functional strength and balance. Make deadlifts a consistent staple in your routine and you will see a noticeable strength increase in every other lift.
- Standing Barbell Military Press: Like the barbell bench press, the standing barbell military press is an excellent compound movement for total upper body strength. I recommend standing because it forces you to engage the glutes and core to create a strong and solid base, this also trains your core stability and enforces good posture.
- Glute-Ham raise or Variation: Now a technical glute-ham raise is a difficult movement to achieve, it requires a pretty strong posterior chain. But there are variations and progressions that help you strengthen your posterior muscles to a point where you’re able to perform a full glute-ham raise. The lower back may also need strengthening, so the back-extension machine is a good start point. The glute-ham raise focuses on the neglected posterior chain, everyone neglects this area not realising the amazing benefits to being strong through the posterior.
So, that’s my top five exercises that you should be doing, the beauty is that they can be performed more than once per week if your program is done right. On the flip side, if you can only spare 2 days per week you could do all these exercises in the one session, once again if the program is written by someone who’s an educated fitness professional. You can always contact the team at Schembri Pt.
Thanks for reading,
Schembri PT Team